Chilblains on the Foot and COVID-19

COVID toes are a phenomenon which began to be described in Spain and Italy at the outset of winter during the first wave of the novel coronavirus epidemic in 2020. The stories were seeing a extremely high amount of chilblains in the feet in individuals with COVID-19. The news media locked onto these accounts and a lot of interest was paid to them. Plenty of interest has been produced from the general public and health professionals in the entire phenomenon of these COVID toes.

There are a variety of pathophysiological processes related to COVID-19, including troubles with the blood vessels, the cytokine reactions and inflammatory functions that can impact the blood flow in the toes that predispose the foot or toes to getting chilblains. Chilblains are a inadequate reaction of the small blood vessels to alterations in temperature. When the tiny arteries don't react adequately, waste material accumulate in the skin bringing about an inflammatory response which is the chilblain. It is easy to observe exactly how COVID-19 may improve the possibility of having a chilblain. Many early on histological research from biopsies of the chilblains of those with COVID-19 did show that there were components of the infection within the lesion. However, other research has reported that there wasn't any, therefore it has started to become quite challenging about what the connection between the two entities actually are.

The thing is that with the passage of time and further analysis there is an escalating amount of reports that there's simply no connection between COVID-19 and chilblains and the higher prevalence is simply a coincidence. There exists one review within the Nordic countries that there has been virtually no rise in the incidence of chilblains in those countries. Other current studies by the use of biopsies in addition to post-mortem autopsy have found no COVID factors associated with the chilblains. You can find speculation that the presumed increase in the occurrence in a few countries is a problem with the lifestyle adjustments because of the lockdown during the epidemic and that they aren't actually part of the pathology response of the COVID-19. These types of changes in lifestyle during the lockdown include things like becoming much more inactive, possibly the less wearing of footwear, being more subjected to air-conditioning and the constant warmth indoors. These kinds of lifestyle changes during lockdown was probably greater in countries like Italy and Spain and the alterations might not have been so great in the Nordic nations. In Nordic nations some might simply be better at managing the issues about temperature fluctuations which are regarded as a risk factor in chilblains. This will easily account for the different incidences in the above regions.

An episode of the podiatry livestream, PodChatLive has been on this very subject. The hosts chatted with a podiatric doctor from South Africa, Nadia Dembskey who's going to be about to start a PhD on the subject. All of the aforementioned issues had been discussed, and they still have not really been settled. Given all the contradicting data along with the inconsistent theories that there are on COVID toes, it could be some time before the science gets to handle this.